After radio shock jock Don Imus was fired for his racist joke about the Rutgers women's basketball team, the country couldn't stop talking about it. In a statement to NBC's Today
, Imus responded to criticism by saying, "I know that that phrase [nappy-headed hos] didn't originate in the white community. That phrase originated in the black community. And I'm not stupid. I may be a white man, but I know that these young women and young black women all through that society are demeaned and disparaged and disrespected by their own black men and that they are called that name. And I know that, and that doesn't give me, obviously, any right to say it, but it doesn't give them any right to say it."
His controversial comment has sparked conversations about the state of racial affairs in America today. In an Oprah Show town hall
a panel of experts discussed the issue, opening up about racism and the denigration, marginalization and sexual exploitation of women.
Was Imus correct in pointing a finger at the hip-hop culture? The Oprah Show
has assembled a panel of hip-hop professionals to respond to the firestorm. Music industry insider Russell Simmons; record executive Kevin Liles; Dr. Benjamin Chavis, former CEO of the NAACP and current President/CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Network; and Grammy-winning rapper Common continue the discussion and get the hip-hop community's response.